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Elections & Politics

New Digital Ad Campaign Highlights Dan Sullivan’s Dangerous Stance on Abortion

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 08.20.14

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Blankets Alaska News Sites with Ads Saying Sullivan Wants to Ban Abortion for Most Alaska Women

WASHINGTON, DC -- Immediately following Dan Sullivan’s victory in the Alaska Republican Senate primary, Planned Parenthood Action Fund has launched a new digital ad campaign to remind voters that he opposes abortion access for most Alaska women, believes the government should control what women can do with their bodies, and won’t say whether he would support the Violence Against Women Act.  This is the largest ad buy the organization has made this cycle, with ads appearing on social media and a host of statewide news sites, including the Juneau EmpireAlaska Dispatch,Anchorage Dispatch News, among other local outlets. 

You can view the website takeover of the Alaska Dispatch here. You can view additional samples of the creative here.

“The road to an anti-abortion Senate runs through Alaska - and with the support of our volunteers, supporters, and donors, Planned Parenthood Action Fund will not let Dan Sullivan drive us down that road,” said Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “We are wasting no time in reaching out to Alaska women. That’s why we’ve launched our biggest digital ad campaign so far this year to ensure voters know exactly where Dan Sullivan stands on issues important to women’s health and rights.”

One series of ads reads: “Dan Sullivan would let the government control what you do with your body.” A second reads: “Dan Sullivan can’t be trusted.  He refuses to say if he supports the Violence Against Women Act.” A third says: “Dan Sullivan supports banning nearly all abortions for Alaska women.”

This effort is part of the Action Fund’s Women are Watching campaign to engage and mobilize voters around women’s health in key states across the country. You can read statements from the Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest Alaska Public Affairs Manager on last night primary results here.

BACKGROUND: Dan Sullivan is too extreme for Alaska women and families.

He thinks bosses and politicians should decide whether you get access to affordable birth control: Dan Sullivan has said that he thought the deeply unpopular Hobby Lobby lawsuit which gives bosses the legal right to deny women access to no-copay birth control was “great,” which is not what a majority of women voters think. Sixty-eight percent of women voters say that politicians who support the Hobby Lobby decision are out of touch with them and their everyday lives. [Tom Anderson Show, 1/7/14; Hart Research Associates, 7/25/14Alaska Family Action Candidate Survey]

He would deny Alaska women and families access to Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services: Dan Sullivan said that he would support legislation that would cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, blocking access to the preventive services health centers provide to women, men and young people, including lifesaving cancer screenings, STI testing and birth control. According to the Guttmacher Institute, for every dollar spent on family planning, nearly $6 in public money is saved. Seventy-nine percent of Planned Parenthood patients live with incomes of 150% of the federal poverty level or less, the equivalent of $34,575 a year for the family of four in 2012. [Alaska Family Action Candidate Survey; Guttmacher InstituteAugust 2014]

He wants to go back to the days when insurance companies could charge women more for health care coverage: Sullivan wants to go back to the days when women paid more for health insurance, and insurance companies could once again charge women more for their coverage and classify pregnancy as a “pre-existing condition.” He was a lead attorney general in an effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act and has said that he supports a repeal of the federal health care law.  [Alaska Family Action Candidate Survey;Alaska Dispatch News, 4/20/10]

He would impose his extreme beliefs about abortion on women and their families:Dan Sullivan wants to ban abortion with no exceptions for the health of a woman. When Sullivan was attorney general, he approved an effort to put a dangerous and extreme “personhood” initiative on the Alaska ballot and said it could move forward. If enacted, the measure could interfere with personal, private medical decisions about birth control, access to fertility treatment, management of a miscarriage, and access to safe and legal abortion. Sullivan refuses to give a clear position on where he stands on the Life at Conception Act, federal legislation that would do the same thing. [Alaska Dispatch News,8/4/14;Associated Press12/26/12]

He is against raising minimum wage, which would help reduce poverty among women and families struggling to make ends meet: Dan Sullivan does not believe that the current minimum wage should be raised, despite overwhelming support among Alaskans for a minimum wage increase. Polling finds that 67% of Alaskan voters support raising the minimum wage, which will appear on the ballot in November. Raising the minimum wage would benefit almost 4.8 million working mothers, helping to pull many families out of poverty. Increasing the minimum wage is also a key step toward closing the gender wage gap. In Alaska, women make nearly $15,000 less annually, compared to their male counterparts. [Associated Press, 1/18/14Public Policy Polling5/14/14;National Women's Law Center3/28/14National Partnership for Women and FamiliesApril 2014]

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.